Fight the Battle

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One thing I have discovered with life… there is always something.
There is always an opportunity of one kind or another to fight the battle ahead.

When the battles seem overwhelming our nature may be to retreat. Some of us are fighters and some of us need to learn how to fight. Others are natural warriors that don’t see anything but victory ahead in the midst of it all. This is how I want to fight the battle.

I want to be the warrior that sees their victory ahead of the attack. Just as a good coach, sees victory for his team and focuses on the win rather than the idea of loss, I want to set my sight on a glorious outcome rather than the moment I am fighting the battle.

How do I walk this out? How do I fight the battle, when I feel the onslaught of ‘life’ coming at me from every side?

*RECOGNIZE
I used to bury my head in the sand, instead of looking at the battle head-on. I used to make excuses, and except the battle as just a part of life. Yes, our battles are a part of life, but I don’t have to accept the defeat before even entering the ring. I can’t roll over and just keep getting kicked while I am down. I must stand up and fight not only for myself for all those around me that a defeated outlook or blindness to the situation will effect. If I roll over and am exhausted by the battle, with just a smile on my face, I am affecting my family, my ministry team and others the Lord has placed in my life. It is like a soldier watching everyone get shot around them with a smile on their face that all is fine. NO, it is not fine. It is a battle and I am going in!! This is how we fight the battle. We recognize we are in one!!

Ephesians 6:12- For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

 

*EQUIP and Position

This is the time to take out all the resources in your tool belt! A soldier going to war would not do well if He forgot all his equipment, and just showed up for battle in his shorts and flipflops.
In this same line of thought, a soldier or a team needs all their partners in the battle. Know your team members. Share your heart, let them back you. Know your source of support. This is key to fight the battle. The most important member you can have to back you is the heavenly creator, that has purposed for you to be victorious. He has a battle plan. He has the equipment ready for you to put on and take your stand. Even if all the other team members have run from the fight, you still have that coach pushing you on. He is ahead of the battle. The battle is HIS to fight. We need to ready our ears and hearts to listen and fight the battle.

Ephesians 6:13-18 

The Whole Armor of God

13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,

* FAITH
Be ready to fight! Posture your heart in readiness. Walk in boldness that you are mighty in victory. Know that the battle belongs to the Lord and the outcome is always victory. It may not look like it at the moment, but the battle is won, when we are ready to win. When we are ready to fight the battle when we are ready to take ownership of victory. We have won. It does not matter what we are seeing. We see with a different lens. It does not matter what we are feeling, our feelings are fleeting. It does not matter that it all is crumbling and falling down around us, we have a master builder, that is ready to remodel and build fresh and new. The fight in the battle is knowing we have won!

Proverbs 21:31- The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
    but the victory belongs to the Lord.


*CELEBRATE- 

Rejoice in your victory! Be thankful the battle is won. You may not see it yet, well, set your eye on the other side. Celebrate your last victories! See what has worked in your favor. Celebrate how you have come out a victor before in your battles. Your battle does not own you. Your battle does not define you. Your battle is what you walk through and you already have the tools to overcome! Celebrating the one that sees you through, is a mighty weapon in the fight of the battle. Praise and worship, it goes before me. I am equipped and ready. I am the victor and I am seeing the victory ahead! I know the victory may look very different than I expect, but it is mine and I will take it and praise Him for it.

2 Chronicles 20:21- Jehoshaphat asked the people for advice. Then he appointed men to sing to the Lord. He wanted them to praise the Lord because of his glory and holiness. They marched out in front of the army. They said,

“Give thanks to the Lord.
    His faithful love continues forever.”

BE ENCOURAGED WITH THIS ONE : This is how I fight my Battles

A treasure found this day

This was an old post I had begun and never finished. It was found in the drafts from years ago.

I felt like I had opened a treasure chest full of the Lord’s reminding in the list of drafts. There were many to open and this one I decided to share today. It is a new year. Time to abandon old things and start fresh!!

Surrender : To abandon

I am finding the more I abandon the garbage in my life, the more joy that fills my heart. When we hold onto anger and bitterness it clogs up the flow of joy just as cholesterol clogs the arteries.

When we let bitterness rise again and again and then complain that we are depressed pointing a finger at the one that offended us, it is no different from ramming our head against a brick wall over and over again and then blaming the wall for our headache.

We need to look at our own selves in the situation.  How are we holding on and what can we do to surrender it? Do we really want to keep walking around with it?

We all have our reasons to feel like we have a right to hold on to that anger. But it hurts us, not the one or the circumstance that we are angry with.

There was a person who hurt my family. I hated this person. Many days all I could do was think about how I would murder them if I could get away with it. I hated them vehemently and for what most would think was good reason. But my hatred of this person was taking over my days, consuming my every thought. There was no peace as I focused only on what they had done and how they should pay.

I realized if I wanted to walk in freedom I needed to surrender all the anger, bitterness, and guilt. But the question for me was how did I start? How could I abandon the feelings and leave them  down and not pick them back up over and over again?

 

ADDED TODAY: 1/4/18  from the wisdom the years has brought me and the freedom I now get to walk in.

Question: How do yo let go of the bitterness and anger without picking it up over and over again.
1. I forgive…

Matthew 6: 14- “For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

                   Luke 17:4 – “And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”

I let go of the circumstances and take off the personal attack. I depersonalize the situation. I work to set it apart from me. It was a situation that happened it does not have to cling to me. When I find  it extremely hard to forgive I ask the Lord’s help. I ask for His peace. I ask Him to help me love my enemy.

2. I pray for my enemy…

Matthew 5:44-But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

I use to struggle with how in the world to pray for an enemy. I would ask, ” seriously God isn’t it enough that they hurt me and they don’t care? How do I pray for them?” God said, “just start.” So now, I pray for the one that has offended me to know Jesus and to break free of the bondage that hurts people. I pray for them to have VICTORY in JESUS.

3. I rejoice that the Lord has set me free…

2 Timothy 2:26- and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.

When I walked in my wrath of bitterness I was held captive by the enemy. I am no longer bound up in the bondage of un-forgiveness and bitterness!!! That is MY reward, my gift from the Lord.

I praise, I worship, I shout and dance. Then when that ugly thing tries to rise up in me I praise louder, worship longer and dance like never before. Instead of using that reminder to take my focus, I use that reminder to take me deeper.

The year 2018 is a great opportunity to break off offenses, walk in freedom of forgiveness and grow deeper in loving.

And I say…. “YES LORD!”

 

Do it anyway… with Rejoicing

We have had so many road blocks in the past few years at my church in the freedom aspect. Lives just torn down and discouraged with a heaviness that was tangible throughout the body, week after week. We would see some little glimpses of breakthrough and then a door would lock in our faces.

Recently there was some great advancements, the keys handed to us and we kept unlocking door after door. Families and relationships restored, jobs opening up and healing over different people. The joy bubbling forth in new ways, vision and passions being revived, hope abounding and the dancing, singing, art and musicians broke free. We were standing on reclaimed territory.

It was not very long before new and bigger physical battles arose. I feel God has taken us to a place of great strength spiritually, so the physical was under attack. Wearing us down, discouraging and all together bubble bursting.

Our pastor was hit in a very big way, my household has been hit in a very big way, the worship leaders home has been hit in a very big way. The list goes on and on and on.

We had begun new ministry direction and all the wars raging around us, knocking the leaders out, could have stopped the new opportunities in the tracks.

That is when God spoke very clear to me, “DO IT ANYWAY!”

I replied, “But God, I don’t know how to lead prayer, and worship.” God said, “DO IT ANYWAY!” So we had prayer and worship the very night the pastor had surgery. We felt something shift in the atmosphere. Rather than discouraged we were doing this without the leadership, I felt like a warrior, going into battle and taking ground, step by step by step. Things were shifting and happening and great victory came forth.

There have been many other opportunities that the Lord has told me lately… “DO IT ANYWAY.”
It does not matter that I hurt, it does not matter that I don’t know how, it does not matter that obstacles keep rising up. I WILL KEEP REJOICING. I WILL KEEP SINGING. I WILL KEEP OPENING DOORS FOR OTHERS TO HAVE OPPORTUNITY TO DO SO. I WILL DO IT ANYWAY!!!!!

My husband spent yesterday, all day in the hospital. We have more tests to pursue concerning his health.  The finances are in a horrible place as He has been out of work, had surgery and the bills are mounting around us. My pain was screaming like ever so often this morning and I wanted to stay home. But God said “DO IT ANYWAY,” So I went to church. I wanted to paint, but I have limits, but God said, “DO IT ANYWAY,” So I painted. I wanted to dance, but my body hurt and others were around, and God said “DO IT ANYWAY,” So I danced.

My JOY was filled to the brim. My circumstances faded in the background and like a little child dancing, painting and singing, there was no other thought than the one that I was doing it for. In my situation I was doing it for Jesus. Praising His mighty name despite all that surrounds me.

.  This is the painting that came forth during my worship.
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The message shared this morning after worship and my painting, was JOY.

I had no idea.

JOY JOY JOY comes to mind again and again.

The definition of REJOICE:
FEEL OR SHOW GREAT JOY OR DELIGHT!

Regardless of my situations around me, all that is flooding against me, in worship Rejoicing over my Lord and showing great delight; My joy bursts forth and that is exactly where I want to be.

1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18  Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Zephaniah 3:17
The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

My flesh …. was once the victor…. but not the final outcome!

I hit the wall again. I was so fearful that the past was going to repeat itself, when I woke up in pain all over my body. I cried out to God, “I thought I was beyond this! Please don’t allow me to regress! What is going on?” I cried in private, in front of my boss, and was embarrassed at such a weakened state.

I rested, and rested some more. I stretched slowly, watched my diet, used medication, muscle rubs, made sure to get my vitamins and slowly regained strength. I can sense that I am still unable to work like I had, I see it was sending me into a tail spin. I was not ready. Yet it really brought a full picture of what I was struggling with.

I was fleshing out. I was so burdened and in pain, that for a moment I quaked and allowed depression, despair and frustration to hang like a dark cloud on top of the light He placed in my life.

I find it interesting that we can walk in the flesh or walk in the Spirit. In the flesh, I wanted to completely give up. I am reminded of the scripture…
Galatians 5:17-  For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.

I wanted to despair, complain, feel sorry for myself and fear. ALL these things are contrary to what is right in the spirit.

The meaning of FLESH-The soft substance of a human or animal.

Flesh is the SOFT part. The part that doesn’t want to contend, to fight, to stand for what freedom I have already gained. By walking in my flesh… I was soft.  Why wouldn’t the enemy want to keep me in that state? He would obtain all the victory. The victory over what God HAS done in me.

My flesh had won for a moment. I kicked and cried and screamed. Yet that is not the end of my story, my outcome is victory over the flesh and moment. I will rise up and sing, not because of my limits, but because of my opportunities and new strength.

Now, I will not be unwise with my abilities, BUT I will not let my spirit be weak because of  the condition of my body. I will walk not by sight, but by the SPIRIT of the Lord. I will walk confidently that He carries me and I would never ever go back to what I once was. He has done a work and isn’t near finished yet. He is SO good and I give Him all the glory. So for my fleshing out, whining, complaining, wanting to give up moment. I repent, and turn away from that lie. I will walk in HIS truth, and that is… He is an everlasting God and does not grow faint, He does not grow weary, He is the defender of the weak, and comforts those in need. He will lift me up and carry me and I can say …. “HE IS GOOD!”

I have GROWN UP :)

 So I do know there are many many areas that I am childish and need extra help. But today I am going to focus on my victories.  I must admit that this last year of trials has left me growing in great ways and I would not trade the lessons learned for anything.

 As I turn to the words of Jesus and learn HIS character I find that I stand stronger and am unmovable in new ways.

 The other day, something that would have bothered me to distraction and would have affected my mood, tried to rise up. This is an old haunt that has had control over me before. Yet I have chosen to renew my mind and focus on what the WORD says about me and these situations. I have chosen to focus my mind on what is GOOD, what is RIGHT and what brings HONOR to HIS name.

 So when these little darts started flying at my mind, and I began to get anxious, I pulled out my sword (the word of God) and dispelled those fiery darts! You know what ? IT WORKED! After just a few moments praying and focusing on the Lord and what HE says, my emotions and feelings were put in the right position.

Now these darts came at me a few times that day, and each time they needed to be addressed with the TRUTH of God’s word. If I would have excepted them as they shot at me, my whole day would have been different and the atmosphere around me rather soured.

We all have our battles and our areas we need to grow. But there is something so special about that moment when you realized, ” I have GROWN UP, and I have arrived in this area and it doesn’t own me!”

I feel like the child that has taken the first steps on their own, then it is time for a bicycle with no training wheels, then it is time for my drivers license. There is ALWAYS something new to learn but that doesn’t mean each time I grow a little more, that it is any less exciting. 

I remember the milestones of my children, they have ALL been special and continue to be so.

I have GROWN UP and in  areas of victory, they are true treasures. I am no longer a babe crying over the loss, but rejoicing in what I have gained 🙂

 

Challenge this day my friend: Keep pulling out that sword in your battles, keep growing and when you have realized you have accomplished a goal in your steps… REJOICE for the LORD IS GOOD!

Ephesians 4:14-15

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ

Can I have a do over???

Image I remember playing games when I was younger. There were times that the dice didn’t roll the way I wanted it to or a play didn’t quite go the way that was planned, and I would ask, “Can I have a do over?”

I don’t know how many times in the last twenty years I had asked God that question. My prayers have often included, ” Lord if only I could take that back!” or ” Please let me try that again, I will do better next time.”  After the question leaves my mind or lips, I always had to face the  reality that there was no do over.

All those opportunities that I either had taken for granted or thrown away, I can not grab those same opportunities back. I find that no matter how big my regret of my mistakes, and the mess that they made, I can not erase the consequences of something I did.

One thing I can do, is pursue from this moment on a life full of joy and promise. I would rather have a life filled with joy and a hope for my future than looking back and always wishing I could have done things differently.

Living a life full of joy is an action involved journey. I can not live in joy if I am constantly walking in regret. I can take those moments that I messed up and say, “Well, I hope not to do THAT again!”  and move on.

There is a season of growing and learning from these past wrong doings, mistakes, or foolishness, but I am not to allow it to hold me down or hold me back. When I have repented and done what I can do to make a situation right in His eyes, the Lord forgives us from our sins and our past mistakes, the slate is wiped clean. I do not have to keep rewriting the mess out over and over again. I too can let it go as the Lord has.

When I am walking in the question, “Can I have a do over…..PLEASE!” I am walking in condemnation. I am not walking in victory. If I have taken my issues to the Lord and asked for forgiveness, then I am forgiven. The Lord does not want us bogged down by regret and shame, constantly looking back at, “what if” and “if only I had”.

If I have missed an opportunity because of foolishness, I can trust my God is good enough to bring new opportunities my way. It is important I learn, grow and then let go.

Walking in a life with Jesus, I don’t have to ask ” Can I have a do over?”, because He already finished the game and gave the victory to me ! I just need to stop and remember to accept it.

Psalm 103:12

as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

( NIV)

The Breath of Life

I have been hurt so many times in my life in so many ways. People will come and go and when I think I have a good set of support systems in my life, things get shaken up again. People that I never thought would choose to walk away, are walking away.

When I look at other peoples circumstances, my life is extremely blessed, and I shouldn’t feel neglected as a grown child of God. But I am human and there are times my flesh wants to rise up and battle what I know to be truth. The truth is I am loved! The truth is there are seasons for everything and everyone. The truth is God is my all. The truth is when I am tense and holding my breath it is then that I need to let it all out and breathe!

In the seasons of feeling like my very  breath has been taken away from me with a new and harsh blow from the reality of life, I need to remember to breathe in the breath of LIFE.

So many times the human has failed me again and again. I hold people up to a standard that I set for myself and if I see them walking away when I never would,  I want to grab on to their ankles and scream “WAIT YOU CAN’T DO THIS!” But it is not my place to do so.

We all have a will that we may choose to follow even if it does not line up with what God intends for our lives. If I see someone running head on into traffic and I am blocked from grasping them, I am going to say something, but if they choose to run for it anyway there is nothing I can do to stop it.

It is times when I feel helpless that I need to remember, God has all things under control in my life. If I am left hurting, He will heal me. If I am alone, He will comfort me. If my world around me appears to be crumbling, He will hold me up. I just need to stop and breathe in His breath of life. Take a moment and remember He is God of all seen and unseen things.

Challenge this day my friends: Take a moment in the craziness and the hurt to just stop, pause and breathe Him in.

Job 33:4-

The spirit of God has made me, and the breathe of the almighty gives me life.

(New American Standard Bible)